Time has done little to age the physicality of cult classic Bloodsport. The mechanics of building movies around martial artist have never been the kind that require extravagant film knowledge--the recipe usually requires the most basic of idea: hero is placed in situation where he is confronted by those who assume themselves to be his better, he proves them wrong thereby teeing off some sort of high-level criminal who aptly considers himself to be the best fighter and then the movie goes through all the requisite scenes (including an uncomfortable love scene, bad attempts at dated comedy, more fight scenes and training regiments) until the final battle, often longer and more intense than previous, with the hero winning out over aforementioned criminal. Then a bad joke, credits.
If a filmmaker has concerns that his leading man may not live up to this most basic of film, one oft-used decision is to insert the above plot line into the setting of a martial-arts competition, which, by design, limits the amount of time any of his cast has to actually act. Doing so also increases the number of fight scenes, which will lend the film pacing the director may be incapable of building through other means. It will also help when his leading actor is portraying an American citizen who happens to have an incredibly unwieldy Belgian accent, as is the case with Jean-Claude Van Damme in Bloodsport. Either way, limiting the amount of times that one allows Van Damme to speak is always sure to increase the credibility of narrative--see Road to Perdition for an example of the many films that profit from not allowing Van Damme any lines. This example also qualifies itself even further by giving Mr. Damme no part at all to play, thus increasing its, ultimately failed, attempts at Oscar glory.
Bloodsport has, to be expected, aged considerably since it's 1988 release: the music seems to have been stolen outright from Red Dawn, the stunt-casting of Donald Gibb (Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds) now seems stupid and uncomfortable, and an appearance by a young Forest Whitaker makes it impossible not to feel a sense of shame at was surely a good decision for a young actor to make at the time. What has not aged at all is the excellent display of fighting styles, all of which come from directly from various "legends" of martial arts films. Physical prowess in the martial arts is so rarely depicted in this day and age of wire-fu and computer effects that it's impossible to watch certain scenes and not experience a sense of awe--just as seeing Van Damme drop into his trademark "split" a total of seven times, often only for the purpose of avoiding paying what must be a skyrocketing room service bill, tends to replace that awe with a sense of revulsion. Still, Bloodsport is the very definition of a cult classic: appealing only to those who remember watching a PG version on TBS in their teenage years and of no interest to those who experience it afresh. Simply put, if you haven't seen Bloodsport yet, you probably shouldn't--but if you have, it's probably time to watch it again. It is, of course, as good as you remember.